Many European countries have adopted procurement policies to ensure that the timber they purchase is sourced from sustainably-managed forests using an agreed set of criteria. As per EU procurement law, this criteria must address the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable forest management.
The EU Commission has asserted that many aspects of the social criteria amongst EU Member States do not adequately address those in EU procurement law. ClientEarth has worked with Member States to address the issues raised by the Commission. We also prepared a legal briefing outlining the key principles of the law governing public procurement in the European Union, which explains why it is appropriate to include criteria relating to social aspects of sustainable forest management in Member State timber procurement policies.
Public procurement has been, and can continue to be, an important force in the drive towards the more sustainable production and consumption of timber products. It can also help secure the rights of forest-dependent communities, and ensure that a good precedent is set and can be applied to other product categories.